A year ago this week I started my photography business. I was terrified, overwhelmed, full of self doubt....oh and I was terrified. I bought my camera (Canon- T1i) and sat on the floor for hours trying to figure out all of the little buttons and settings, used my dog as a guinea pig, and kept telling myself over and over that I could do this. I started a blog, took pictures of anything and everything (dishes, pizza, my dog) and posted whatever I could. I now cringe at some of those early blog posts and pictures, but I just wanted to get as much experience as I could. Oh and the whole blog thing, SO terrifying. Putting yourself out there...terrifying. I'm not the best "writer" and I use words like awesome, AH-mazing, fabulous, cool, toolbag....ya I won't be publishing a book anytime soon. I swear I have an extensive vocabulary... at times... :) So the whole blog thing and putting myself on the internet and allowing people to "judge" me and "judge" my work (pictures of pizza and my dog) was terrifying. Still is.
Some of you know, I studied photography in college. I took my first photography class my senior year of high school (Go Mrs. Santos!) and was hooked. I loved it...LOVED it! That was it, that's what I wanted to do with my life. I went off to college wanting to be the next Annie Leibovitz and dreamed about being a photographer for Rolling Stone Magazine AND Vogue. Oh yes, I was going to do both. :) But after 2 years of studying photography, I got burnt out. It wasn't fun anymore... I felt like I had no control over my work, the professors did. They chose what I printed, they chose our subject matter, it just felt like a chore...I felt like a robot. My creative spirit went out the window and I switched my major to Psychology and finished school.
Well fast forward to 2009, the year I got married. While Tim and I were on our honeymoon I chatted how I REALLY wanted to get back into photography, not as a hobby....as a serious photographer. But of course there was that one thing that was holding me back...self doubt. After a good pep talk from my husband, I said what the hell and just went for it. I decided that I would take a year off from Grad School (which was a big deal) and pursue this crazy dream of mine. If I was going to try, I was going to do it 100%. I told myself I was only going to do it for a year and see where it went. If I sucked, if I failed, at least I tried and that was all I could do. I sent a handful of friends a message on Facebook explaining my crazy dream and that I needed to build up my portfolio and offered free sessions to everyone. Some people probably thought I was crazy, but some people actually took me up on my offer and for that I will be FOREVER grateful! My first shoot was with Erin and Aaron and I shot their engagement session. I was SOOOO nervous. Erin and Aaron actually drove from Lexington, KY for their session and I did not want to disappoint them. Well they loved their pictures and 2 months later they asked me to shoot their wedding. I did a happy dance and wanted to puke at the same time. Again, that terrifying feeling in my stomach set in and I began to doubt myself, but this is what I wanted to do. And from there things just took off. In the last year I have learned so much about photography, my camera, my business, and myself.
- Stop doubting yourself and stop whining...it's annoying.
- Practice, practice, and practice....you will get better.
- Stay true to yourself
- Photoshop is your friend, not your enemy
- Throwing things does not solve anything
- Comparing yourself to other photographers is pointless and will only make you feel like crap, and who
- Keep it real
- A good lense can change everything
- Crying only prolongs the editing process and leads to a headache
- Cursing at the computer is pointless, and scares the dog.
- People are AH-mazing, especially photographers who know exactly how you feel and are willing to share
and help you learn.
- You are going to make a mistake, lots of them...all you can do is learn from them and move on.
- I have an AH-mazing set of family and friends who are so supportive.
- This makes me happy
And I could go on and on.... :)
I just want to say THANK YOU to my amazing husband, family, and friends for supporting me. THANK YOU to all of my WONDERFUL and FABULOUS (there I go again) clients who have welcomed me into their homes and into their lives. And THANK YOU to all of my KICK ASS supporters, I REALLY appreciate everything! Without all of you, my business would be nothing. So thank you. :)